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Are you lacking the D ???

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Why should we even worry about the sunshine vitamin or vitamin D?

Based on a study we presented at the annual scientific sessions of the American Heart Association in 2010, of 132,000 Utah residents, 85% of us are lacking in vitamin D (levels less than 40 ng/dL). Does it really matter if our bodies have inadequate levels of vitamin D?  The answer is a resounding “yes”. Having sufficient levels of vitamin D has been shown to help prevent osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes, and it may slow the aging process.

How do we get vitamin D?

The best way to get vitamin D is naturally from the sun. However, if you live somewhere with cold, dark winters, then you really can’t get much vitamin D from November to March when the sun is very low in the sky. Thus, we have to rely on the vitamin D we were able to store up from the summer or the vitamin D we can take in through our diets and supplements.  Unfortunately, there just are few vitamin D food sources as our bodies really were designed to get the vitamin D we need from the sun.

Just how much time in the sun do we need?

Just 15 minutes of sun at mid-day in the summer is sufficient. Of course, this varies based on how much skin is exposed (darker skinned people may need more time), the time of the day (mid-day is best for vitamin D), altitude (the higher the altitude you are at the more vitamin D your body can make), cloud cover, etc. There are some great smart phone apps or websites that can allow you to calculate your exact dose from the sun. Just be sure not to be in the sun longer than 15 minutes without sunscreen or covering up to prevent increased risk of future skin cancer. In addition to the vitamin D we get from the sun, sunlight has been shown to have a profound beneficial effect on allowing us to feel better.

However, in our frigid winter smog filled inversions getting a sunburn is probably the furthest thing from our minds right now.

So what can we do?

Good food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish such as salmon, especially the wild salmon, tuna, mackerel, mushrooms, eggs and vitamin D fortified foods such as milk (any milk will do–cow, soy, almond, or coconut milk are all fortified). My favorite way to get vitamin D in the winter is from salmon.  Just a small 4-ounce serving of salmon offers us 265% of our daily recommended allowance of this critically important vitamin. As vitamin D can be stored, just 2.5 servings of salmon each week would get us all of the vitamin D we need.

What if you just don’t like fish?

This described me perfectly my entire life until just a few years ago. I remember vividly as a child not eating fish. However, as a fitness addict very concerned about my health, I learned to like fish. Actually LOVE it. I eat wild Alaskan salmon once or twice a week. I want to emphasize “wild” as the wild salmon has less contaminants or pollutants than fish grown in a farm. In addition to all of the wonderful vitamin D in salmon, it is also very high in omega 3s and vitamin B12 and also reduces cholesterol and decreases your risk of heart disease. I should point out here that the American Heart Association has recommended at least two servings of fish each week as part of a healthy diet. There also many Vitamin D supplements you could take.

What about a tanning bed?

A tanning bed will never provide you with the vitamin D that you need, nor is it safe! Though if you are anything like me, you can’t stand looking at your pasty white skin. Well I have the solution for that too. www.rossaselftanning.com Its an amazing product that leaves you with a natural tan (NO ORANGE), It does not streak and you can apply it to your face :). The best part… RST has teamed up with UPMC Melanoma Research to help #BEATSKINCANCER.

So you can look great, feel great and be part of a GREAT cause. OHHHH and if you use code “DANIRST” at check out you get $$$ off, Your Welcome!

I hope this helps you get through those winter blues caused from the lack of Vitamin D!!!!

Dani